The reasons why Cheryl nominated for Councillor in 2016
The old cliché that “life wasn’t meant to be easy” is one which has more relevance to the office of Councillor than it does to many other occupations or callings. The office of Councillor is a political office. Council decision-making is a political process. That means that it is about dealing with and assessing different and often conflicting demands, aspirations and philosophical perspectives in an attempt to get to an outcome for a particular matter which, in the individual Councillor’s personal opinion, represents the best result for the community as a whole, consistently with the Councillor’s duty under the Local Government Act 2009.
During my career with Kilcoy Shire Council, I had a very amicable professional relationship with our Councillors. I experienced a great deal of professional satisfaction as a team member of a small rural Council by balancing its annual budget and providing the best possible service to its ratepayers. My ambition has always been to stand for Council. After 30 years of Local Government experience I understand entirely the “glue” that holds a community together.
I am passionate about our region and believe that we live in an area that has the potential to develop more successfully with long term vision, correct approach, appropriate attitude and sound management strategies. I want to see our region encourage business growth, encourage two way communications and acknowledge and reach community expectations. I advocate for benchmarking and tracking our communities’ overall satisfaction with our council’s performance in areas such as:- basic services and infrastructure; community lifestyle services; managing the region; customer services/communication; and qualities of council.
As your Councillor, I understand that making decisions will affect our community and it is therefore important to have effective decision-making skills. University has broadened my outlook and given me a much wider perspective on diverse social matters. As President of the Kilcoy Chamber of Commerce & Community Inc. over a two year period, I understand the needs of local businesses and the expectations of our local community. My length of service to Local Government provides me with invaluable leadership skills, experience and knowledge.
Summary of Cheryl’s Story
I have lived and worked in the northern part of our region for most of my life. Kilcoy has been my home and also my ancestors’ home since 1904. My parents, Ira and Melva Hubner were self employed and had various businesses. I admire the volume of work, the dedication and sheer determination displayed by my parents to make a living and provide for their six daughters. I attended Mt Kilcoy State Primary School, Kilcoy State High School and completed my business education by attending Seven Hills Technical College. In 1977, I was fortunate in achieving a clerical position with Kilcoy Shire Council and continued to work in Local Government until 2013. I commenced my career as Junior Clerk-Typist and worked my way to the position of Manager of Finance and Administration, and in 2008 worked in the role of Executive Administrator – Community Services with the amalgamated Somerset Regional Council.
I am married to John and we have a son Christopher and a daughter Joanne married to Gary Jeppesen and two beautiful granddaughters, Marley and Ally. John and I have travelled in Australia and overseas and desire to do more travelling in the future. I find travelling broadens one’s outlook, knowledge and experience. I have been very involved with not for profit community groups most of my life and I was very humbled to receive the Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award in January 2015. I studied part-time at the University of Sunshine Coast and undertook an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts during 2014 -2016. I have now proudly successfully completed a Diploma of Local Government – Elected Members, which was secured in September 2019.
Family history has always interested me as I believe being aware of where your ancestors came from and a bit about their lives offers the foundation to one’s life. After researching family history on both sides of my parents, I find that I have German and English heritage. My Mother’s Grandfather, George Adsett was born at North Pine, Brisbane in 1859. As a young man, George gained experience on Kilcoy Station, which benefited him in his acquisition of his Mt Kilcoy selection in 1904. A small part of the Mt Kilcoy selection is still held in our family. George was an active community member and was an executive member of the Mt Kilcoy School Building Committee that successfully acquired (within one year), two acres of crown land and a school building ready for its twenty-six students and Head Teacher to start school on the 18th January 1909. My Grandmother Rose Stanton (nee Adsett), my Mother Melva Hubner and her six daughters attended the Mt Kilcoy State Primary School. My son, Christopher and daughter, Joanne also attended this close knit school, which resulted in four generations attending this very competent learning facility. Great Grandfather George also served two terms as a Kilcoy Shire Councillor from 1924 to 1930. Perhaps I have him to thank for some of my values and aspirations.
I have lived and worked in the northern part of our region for most of my life. My parents, Ira and Melva Hubner were self employed and had various businesses. I admire the volume of work, the dedication and sheer determination displayed by my parents to make a living and provide for their six daughters. I attended Mt Kilcoy State Primary School, Kilcoy State High School and completed my business education by attending Seven Hills Technical College.
I started my Local Government career as Junior Clerk-Typist. I was very lucky to work with a team of very professional and supportive peers. The Shire Clerk (which this position is now referred to as Chief Executive Officer) was very supportive and always had time for his staff. He was a man that was patient and displayed his faith in his staff’s ability, by mentoring them accordingly. I believe that this influence in my early years as an eager employee gave me the confidence and determination to reach for the stars. He encouraged me to accept responsibilities that at the time a female employee would not have been considered a worthy recipient. I can recall attending Local Government networking groups, where I became a spokesperson for our small council. The representation on many of these groups was mainly male, however this never fazed me.
I married my teenage heart throb, John and we had two wonderful children, as I mentioned previously a son and daughter, Christopher and Joanne. I left work for a period of time when the children were young, returning to work full time when they were 6 and 3 years old respectively. Our parents helped John and I with babysitting duties as there were no child care centres in Kilcoy.
Computers arrived at Kilcoy Shire Council in 1985 and I was given the responsibility of co-ordinating the implementation of the manual work procedures to computerised work records. Once again, this challenge never fazed me, we were fortunate that Council employed the services of a very reliable computer company that specialised in Local Government administration. Statewide our Council was the eighth client of Practical Computer Services to undertake the major change of administration procedures. I continued to work my way up the corporate ladder to Manager of Finance & Administration. I enjoyed working with our Councillors, my colleagues and our community on a number of projects. I found this work very rewarding and we always achieved great success with strong outcomes when working in a team environment. My greatest achievement at work was acting in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer for a three month period when this position was being filled.
Council amalgamations occurred in 2008 and this is when Kilcoy and Esk Shire Councils amalgamated to become known as Somerset Regional Council. I worked for Somerset Regional Council until end of October 2013, when I felt it was time to take a new direction with my life. So after 30 years plus of local government devotion I now find myself studying at University of Sunshine Coast where I have undertaken an undergraduate degree in communication. As a mature age student, I undertook the Tertiary Preparation Pathways course in 2014. I chose to study Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Societies, Contemporary Australia, Working with Community and Academic Skills for Success. I achieved results that I never expected – a letter from the university commended my efforts and informed me that I had achieved high marks and I was surprised when I read that I had received two high distinctions and two distinctions for my full time study. I was studying part time as I found that this is the most beneficial way of combining study with life and community commitments and social needs.
I was presented with the Citizen of the Year Award on Australia Day in 2015. I can truly say that this experience has been entirely humbling and as I stated on the morning of the presentations, volunteering has its own rewards and if we were to collectively invite all volunteers in our region together, the Somerset Civic Centre would not have the capacity to hold everyone.
John and I have completed some travelling, however much more is planned. We have travelled the eastern and middle areas of Australia, travelled to the United Kingdom and Ireland, New Zealand and most recently to Cambodia, China and Malaysia. Travelling the world is such an interesting and unpredictable experience and once again we look forward to travelling to other countries that have made our bucket list. In August 2018, along with friends, John and I took a five week motorbike tour of the western United States of America. I could not recommend this type of adventure more highly, we enjoyed every moment and travelled through ten states. Travelling is always challenging when we have to leave our two granddaughters behind. John and I will find any excuse to have the girls, Marley and Ally, and to spend time at Pop’s and Dee’s place. Our daughter Joanne married Gary Jeppesen in 2010 on a beautiful Mt Mee spring day which was a very memorable celebration. Our son, Christopher is enjoying life and has achieved goals he never thought he would. We are blessed to have large families who enjoy good health and all my sisters live nearby. At the time my 89 year old Mum lovingly said “All the chickens have come home to roost”. I was totally shattered when my sister Dianne took ill very suddenly and around two years later in 2017 passed with MND. I still cannot accept that this bastard of a disease claimed the life of the most beautiful person I have ever met, and who was also my sister. Sadly Mum passed away on 10 August 2019, five days prior to her 93rd Birthday.
During my five years working in the position of Executive Administrator – Community Services with Somerset Regional Council, I met many wonderful people in the newly defined region. Areas such as Esk, Fernvale, Lowood, Glamorgan Vale, Coominya, Prenzlau, Trampa, and to the north Colinton, Moore, Linville, Mt Beppo and Toogoolawah. My husband’s Mum, Nell lives at Toogoolawah and her husband John Seymour has lived there all his life and the family still carries out their business at Toogoolawah. Today, John and Nell are residents of the Glenwood Hostel Aged Care facility located at Lowood. They enjoy their life here and always pay complements to the very caring staff at Glenwood.
I have completely enjoyed my first term as Councillor for our beautiful region. I undertook studying Diploma Local Government – Elected Members in February 2018 and successfully completed the diploma in Augu2t 2019. I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience and meeting with many other Councillors from all over the State of Queensland. I will miss this interaction, and would dearly welcome the networking opportunities with other Councils and Councillors if re-elected on 28 March 2020. I absolutely look forward to representing our region for the next term of Local Government – March 2020 to March 2024. I believe our Council has achieved a great deal over the past four years, and there are many aspirations yet to achieve over the next four years.